Quick-Thoughts: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

Screened at The Frida Cinema • 3rd Viewing

“I’m a real light sleeper, Childs.” 

I think the smartest thing about The Thing even among the sensational practical effects which have majorly garnished its critical comeback is how it leaves out events in the continuity so that it can intentionally force viewers to be in the same skeptical position as its many victimized characters. In this sense, John Carpenter’s film itself is as equally manipulative towards its audience as the shapeshifting extraterrestrial it depicts. By the end of such a conflicting phenomena from shrewdly accessible thematic writing, you’re at last vacated from the screen but with that same suspicion as you had at the beginning; the revelation of Bill Lancaster’s reincarnation of the “creature from outer space” tale then becomes perfectly clear: realizing that there is no revelation to this aside from the unstoppable that you had feared since first meeting it. I guess this masterpiece still kills!

Verdict: A

John Carpenter Ranked

“The Thing” is now available to stream on Starz.

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